Novartis AG Patent Dispute in India Heats Up  
9/6/2011 8:33:29 AM

Even as final arguments in the controversial Novartis case, in which the Swiss multinational pharmaceutical company has challenged the manner in which Section 3(d) of India's Patents Act is applied, have started in the Supreme Court, the public interest groups have expressed concern that any win by Novartis will prove to be shutting down of the ‘pharmacy of the developing world’. The next hearing in the case will take place on September 6, 2011. Section 3(d) of India's Patents Act prohibits 'evergreening' - the practice of multinational pharmaceutical companies to extend their patent terms by making small, trivial changes to existing medicines and thereby preventing access to generic affordable drugs. Under Section 3(d), patents will not be granted for new uses or new forms of existing medicines. However, some new forms of existing medicines may get patents if the company can demonstrate a significant increase in efficacy.